The Institute of Financial Services (ifs) and Just Retirement are offering an equity release training and exam package for up to 1,000 financial advisers.
Just Retirement is presenting the ifs Certificate in Lifetime Mortgages (CeLM) as part of its drive to encourage more financial advisers to take professional qualifications in equity release.
The deal has been unveiled just as the Financial Services Authority (FSA) prepares to publish its findings on the quality of advice being given in the sector.
Lifetime mortgage products and the advice provided have attracted criticism since the introduction of statutory regulation and the industry is anticipating further scrutiny of advice standards.
Mike Fuller, chief executive at Just Retirement, states: “We are committed to raising awareness of the issues of equity release among financial advisers and supporting advisers in offering a high quality service to their clients.”
Fay Goddard, deputy director general at the Association of Independent Financial Advisers (Aifa), says anything which encourages advisers to take up qualifications is strongly supported by Aifa.
She believes the examinations should be mandatory because lifetime mortgages is a specialist area and needs a qualified person.
But Dean Mirfin, director of business development at Key Retirement Solutions, says there are two sides to the debate on whether institutions should offer equity release exams.
He states: “On one side it’s great because it gives people added impetus to take exams, but on the other side, if people are bothered about qualifications they should be doing them anyway.”
The exams will all take place on 20 July 2006 at five venues across the country. Under the package advisers can take the CeLM exam for £75, compared with the usual £120, and will also receive study materials, half day exam preparation and lunch.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Emily Perryman on 020 7968 4554 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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